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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  January 15, 2014 11:30am-12:01pm EST

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>> a lot of types, technology is available, and you would have to inform back and do software changes. but to determine, this is the issue in terms of saving lives, and to be able to access 9-1-1 became so apparent in this tragic situation. >> of course. i want to talk beyond the office building or hotel building type of situation. we understand from your association that there were actually dead zones, where 9-1-1 is going to do nothing for you in this country. and we want to look at a map here.
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there are very large areas of the country where 9-1-1 is not an option. why? >> on the flip side of that, clearly 98% of the population has access to 9-1-1, but these areas can be outside of nowhere, national reserves or parks, where nobody lives, and parts of the season, they're closed. there's no access to reach 9-1-1, so there are areas of the country that you can't access 9-1-1 because of the physical isolation if you will. >> but there are other reasons why maybe the system doesn't respond to the three digits. there are small rural communities.
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emergency service to dial the operator emergency services. in 1999, the law was passed to make 9-1-1 the national emergency number that everybody is aware. it's an amazing brand. everybody knows how to access it. >> they're going to reach every little kid in america. >> exactly, but there are situations such as these phone systems services that require extra effort, if you will that access 9-1-1. >> or information, it's so heartbreaking to think of that family and that little girl. >> i want to compliment this little girl's efforts, and in many ways, she's a hero. >> she did everything that we taught her to do, and unfortunately it didn't work. coming up next, [ speaking french ]
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, the soap opera swirling around france's president, and how the entrance of another leading lady might leave him without a date. later in the program, america tonight follows up on the death of a mentally ill man, brutally beaten by police officers. why activists fear the verdict in this case may be the troubling sign of things to come.
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welcome back to "inside story." in advance of the coming peace conference in switzerland, we're looking at international attempts to stop the civil war in syria. also now joining the conversation, joshua landis, and the director of the center for middle east studies at the university of denver. joshua, let me start with you, what is the united states up to and has it made any progress in
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its efforts to stop the fighting in syria? >> well, it hasn't made a lot of progress. there's complete chaos on the ground on the rebel side who have been fighting each other tooth and nail as you mentioned in your start up, and the -- the worry on the part of the opposition is if they begin to talk to assad, he is quite powerful on the grown now, and this could lead to the partition of syria. a rebel controlled area in the south, and a regime controlled area in the rest of the country. so what their real beef is to try to hold the american's feet to the fire and make them actually deliver on this promise they made at geneva one that assad would step down, because they don't have the power to do that themselves. so that's -- the trackations that are going on right now in
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an effort to commit america to the position that assad has to go. obama said that early in this fight. and perhaps regrets it today, but america has been stepping back from that position and stopped supplying arms or aid of any kind to the rebels. so that is in part the game that's being played here on the lead-up to this geneva 2 meeting. >> assad must go has been the position of the united states from the beginning or close to the beginning, but assad has two very potent and powerful regional allies in russia and iran. what is their steak in what happens going forward? >> both countries have their interest in preserving the assad regime which is why they are backing them, and i think as joshua correctly pointed out in his comments that without any
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pressure on the ground -- without any political power, military power to remove assad there's no reason for him to leaf. he is not going to stand up and say, well, myself and my family have been in power for 43 years and now it's time to transit to democracy. so he's riding very high in the political stakes in syria today. he has strong political backing, the opposition is fragmented and weak, and there's no sense that anything positive is going to come out of the meetings in switzerland unless there is political force that can push the assad regime to agree to a political transition to -- a better go, future government. >> but profez or, looking at what has gone on over last year and a half, why aren't iran and russia looking past assad, to the eventual leaders of the
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country? what is the use of having an ally who is the king of the rebel in a deput inned state with a totally destroyed infrastructure? >> that's a good question. now it seems like assad is stronger today than he was six months ago. he seems to be riding out this political conflict. both russian and iran as i said have different interests. for iran the stakes are huge. access to hezbollah, passage through syria, iran has been heavily invested in preserving the assad regime, it noes in the regime falls its clout diminishes by a huge proportion. it is doing everything it can -- not for reasons of political ideology, but for
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sheer naked power connections. if assad leaves, other countries power grows. so iran is backing the assad regime to the end, and it seems like they are winning. >> what about that suggestion from our two professors that bashar al-assad is more in control of syria than people realize, and stronger, perhaps than people gave him credit for earlier in this war? >> actually i don't share this analysis or view because his power now mainly relies on foreign players in the syrian crisis. he lost, you know, the -- the -- his reserve of manpower to fight his war, so they came to aid him. hezbollah has now become a part of the fight in syria comes from
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lebanon. the militia is coming from iraq and other volunteers coming from pakistan and others, so that's a clear, i mean, indication that he is now surviving based on using foreign aids and foreign military aids to his regime. >> and is there a risk for those foreigners getting involved? that they get a bloody nose and diminished in the process themselves like hezbollah? >> well, the much bigger risk for them is if they lose, and if the -- the shiite aloite regime collapses. iran does have an idealogical stake in this, and that is supporting shiites throughout the arab world, and if they allow them to collapse and be defeated by the rebel forces made up of sunnis, this would be
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a big blow to not only their allies in hezbollah, and iraq, but it would be a big boost for saudi arabia. so iran is holding the line, and what it sees is a sunni on slot effort to overturn the region. so it's linked up on various different levels to an international struggle. >> we're going to take a break, and when we come back we'll talk more about the big powers surrounding syria that turnout to have a big stake in its future. this is "inside story"?
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>> welcome back to "inside story." i'm ray suarez. there are talks scheduled in switzerland later this month but it's unconcern which parties of the crisis will be at the table. let's talk more about what professor landis brought up just before the break, that now both the united states and russia have a big stake in what happens in damascus. he can't hear us. i'll move on, i was interested, sir, in knowing what happened to syria? if you look at the history after world war ii at mai many countrs in the region there was a heavy emphasis on nationalism that stressed being syrian over christian,
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sunni, shia, or sun sunni. what happened to national over the things that now divide your countries? >> for sure they continue to have a lot of pride in their national belongings, and their regional belongings belonging to arab areas. we look to free syria, and to regain our rights as a people to reunite our constitution, and reelect our leadersed a free citizens under one country, under one flag. >> professor, joshua landis both
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managed that russia is watching very closely. this feels like 1965 or 1955, not 2014. >> it does. i think russia is asserting itself. it's called obama's bluff on many occasions particularly after the use of chemical weapons. and obama due to a number of issues related to the iraq war a failing economy, the focus of the nuclear deal has refused to challenge the russian position. they're effectively setting the course and the pace on a number of diplomatic negotiations, and that's where we got to where we are today. >> did the united states have a lousy hand, and perhaps with the setting of red lines, boundaries
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and setting down of pre-conditions only made it worse? >> in part that's true. certainly this contest has been going on for some time. russia believes quite strongly that syria and perhaps other countries in the region are not ready for democracy, that they need a strong man to lead them. somebody a little bit like putin and russia itself. and that america has taken the view that democracy is the answer for these regimes. we did try to assert democracy in iraq and afghanistan. we now have lost our confidence on this score. i think president obama did not want and feel that syria was a country that he wanted to double down in and prove that democracy would work in syria. he has abandoned the field, and he has allowed the sunnies in a he is pens
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--we deified russia and took afghanistan away from the russian had bee russians. and in this hand america is deferring to russia in syria because it does not have very deep interests in syria. we have not had relations in syria for 30 years. we have sanctions on them. we have no trade. syria is not a major interest for the united states. that's why problem wants to try to add . >> you heard what joshua landis just had to say. the various armies in the field fighting ali velshi, they do
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want that dictator gone . >> the majority of the syrians are the ones who are not taking part in this fight, and they have to be sure that their voices are heard, and they are the one who will go up the future of syria and make sure that it's safe, free and democratic for our future. >> thank you all. that brings us to to the end of this edition of inside story.
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welcome to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. these are the stories we are following for you. a new report on one of the biggest scandals ever to rock the catholic church. a texas man taking legal action to remove his pregnant wife from life support. and a monster sinkhole swallowing up 26 acres in louisiana, creating cracks in the surrounding levee. ♪ for more than a decade that has been one of the biggest

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